Wait... Men Are Victims Too?

Wait... Men Are Victims Too?

A subject, not many people talk about.
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I'll be honest. I don't consider myself a feminist. Now, I am certainly not anti-feminist either. I believe that women deserve, and are entitled to the same rights and priviledges as men do, but I've distanced myself from the feminist movement for a number of reasons. Any ones views, whether social, political or religious are entitled to praise and criticism, and that includes feminism. I am not critical of feminism itself, but of how extreme its become. What was once a movement striving to grant women the same liberties as men, has started to demonize the male gender, and make stereotypes out of them.

We've heard it all: All men think about is sex. All men are perverts. Men loved being touched. Men are pigs. Blah, blah, blah. I have dealt with almost every feminist-nazi there is to exist, from the girl who will accuse me of sexual assault for barely touching her shoulder, to the others who will simply say I can't be feminist because I am not a women. I can deal with those. But the ones that tick me off, more than anything else are the women that say "Men cannot be raped."

If the Odyssey didn't have censorship rules I would love to shout out a certain word right now but I think most of you who agree with me had already done it so...

Let me first start by saying: No, that is not true. Men can be raped and sexually assaulted. I speak from experience. In mid-February of 2011, I was a freshman in high school. I was picked on relentlessly to the point I had to stay after school to take a late bus home everyday. One day, a few of the kids that picked on me caught on to it and cornered me on the side of the building where I was waiting for the bus. There were four boys and one girl, all I am willing to keep nameless for their saftey. They surrounded me at first, kicking my ankles, and calling me names. They did this until the bus came, in which I scrambled on for safety. Unfortunately, they followed me onto the bus and sat around me. The girl that was with them sat next to me, and began making flirty comments towards me and asking me if I "wanted to make it hot in here." Which I responded "no." Then she accused me of being gay, in which I said "shut up." Then she took my hand and told me to prove it, and before I can answer, she deliberately placed my hand on her breast, which I immediately pulled away. The four other boys who were sitting around me all had their phones out as if they were taking pictures or recording (thankfully it turns out it was all part of a joke, and no photos or videos were actually taken. If any of them were, they never surfaced.) Then the girl began resting her head on my shoulder. At this point I became very uncomfortable and told her to get off me. Instead she began reaching down my shirt and rubbing it. I pushed her away but it didn't stop her. She placed an arm around me, then tightened it into a chokehold, where she began licking my face. However, I was able to fight may way out of that seat, and got off at the first stop. But the damage was already done. I had gone home crying and locked myself in my room, My father accompanied me to the school the next morning to report the incident. In the end, none of them got in trouble. It was my word against all of theirs and the girl even accused me of leading her on in the first place, which I continue to maintain wasn't true. I would find out later from the girl that the one of the boys told her to flirt with me. My experience might not sound as brutal as actual rape. But I can tell you, I felt violated after that incident, and it is still the dirtiest feeling I've ever felt, and it was traumatizing, so it felt like rape. Despite the negative experience, it opened my eyes to a subject I never hear anyone talk about. Gender reversal when it comes to sexual assault.

Since women are more likely to be victims of rape or sexual assault, they obviously receive more attention in the media.There are more organizations and shelters designed specifically to aid women from abusive situations. Unfortunately, it overshadows the cases involving men, resulting in the subject being either glossed over or ignored. While one out of five women are raped at some point in their lifetime, one out of seventy one men are raped in their lifetime. However many experts believe that the numbers are much higher, and this is because only 37% of rape cases are ever reported to the police. And only two percent of sexual assault cases involved women being the offender.

Jennifer Marsh, the vice president of the anti-sexual violence organization RAINN has statedas , "Often, male survivors may be less likely to identify what happened to them as abuse or assault because of the general notion that men always want sex." There are alot of things that cause such an issue to be ignored or worsed dismissed as a myth. It can be be found within the culture and within the social norms we are a part of.

The first problem is with the media on gender roles. This is seen heavily influenced as a stereotype in the media, specifically on television sitcoms. Men are usually depicted pigs, sometimes flaunting their masculinity, while the women, if not vulnderable, is amusingly the smartest person in the room. This has influenced the perception of what all men are like: dominant, flirty, and on occasions, obtuse. It's hard to see the vice versa. Or worse, they make the male protagonist out to learn he was lucky that it happened. One example is in the comedy film, "Wedding Crashers," there is a scene involving Vince Vaughn's is tied down to a bed while a naked Isla Fisher forces sex onto him. The next day he complains about being raped, but at the end of the film, he realizes he is in love with her, and everything ends happily. For most people, since Isla Fisher was "hot," in the film, most of the audience would just simply assume that he was lucky, especially a terrible actor like Vince Vaughn. But imagine if Isla Fisher was the one tied to the bed, and Vince Vaughn was the rapist. It would not sit well with the audience, especially coming from a comedy film. The problem here is most films or tv shows depicting rape tend to use the "female-on-male rape" scenario as a comical one. Another more recent example is on the television series, "Family Guy." " Family Guy" aired an episode involving Peter getting sexually harrassed by his female boss. His boss forces him into a series of "sexual roleplaying." Lois and Meg don't take it seriously and outright deny that a women can sexually harrass a man.

The next problem is the human anatomy. Men have penises, penises get erections, and obviously, sexual arousal leads to ejaculation. Also men can't get pregnant. Anyone who paid attention in their seventh grade health class, knows that these processes are all automatic responses to sexual stimuli. Believe it or not, men don't have absolute control over their "boners." Guys, you know exactly what I'm talking about every time you wake up in the morning.

And the most obvious problem is the lack of attention. Many documentaries involving the subject of rape and sexual assault are almost universally aimed towards women. I've seen very few occasions where the documentry will touch on male victims. And the most time it does go into detail is if its a male-on-male rape case.But its always done poorly and is never given enough depth. In fact, in a documentary, The Hunting Ground, *you can find it on Netflix), which was about rape on college campuses,only scratched the surface of men being raped. But the point where they mentioned it didn't even last 5 minutes, and it seemed like the makers of the documentary just put it there solely to prevent men from feeling left out. But even in the short time it did touch on the subject it mentioned the the amount of reported rapes done on men are so low, that its almost impossible to do research on the issue. Which is true. So much emphasis has been made on rape towards women that male rape victims aren't only dismissed but as a result, feel discouraged to come forward.

Things need to be done in order to change these problems. In order for male rape to be recognized, we must acknowledge that men are capable of being vulnerable, just like women. Since both men and women are socialized to see men as assertive, powerful and in control of their bodies, This makes it hard to believe men can in fact be "victims." And unfortunately, because of this social norm, it makes it hard for male victims to seek out services, thus making it less likely that these services are available. The question is: how do we do it? Staff of any organization or shelter should be trained to understand that a male victims are real. That we should approach every rape or sexual assault case with the most serious efforts, regardless of gender. Also, we must conduct more research into cases involving male victims, specifically if the assailant was a women, because while we know men can rape other men, it still aims at men being an assailant as well. And we need to encourage victims to come forward in order to bring this furthur into the light. We can't let the demographics encourage them to stay in the dark and discourage them from speaking up.

So for all the feminists that got pissed off by this article, I have one more thing to say. You obviously don't like it when a man says "a women's only place in society is in the kitchen." If that statement angers you, then you know how male victims feel when you dismiss them. Rape is rape, no matter what gender. If a person is forcing his or herself on you, against your will. That is rape.

Cover Image Credit: google images

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I'd Rather Be Single Than Settle – Here Is Why Being Picky Is Okay

They're on their best behavior when you're dating.
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Dating nowadays described in one word: annoying.

What's even more annoying? when people tell you that you're being too "picky" when it comes to dating. Yes, from an outside perspective sometimes that's exactly what it looks like; however, when looking at it from my perspective it all makes sense.

I've heard it all:

"He was cute, why didn't you like him?"

"You didn't even give him a chance!"

"You pay too much attention to the little things!"

What people don't understand is that it's OKAY to be picky when it comes to guys. For some reason, girls in college freak out and think they're supposed to have a boyfriend by now, be engaged by the time they graduate, etc. It's all a little ridiculous.

However, I refuse to put myself on a time table such as this due to the fact that these girls who feel this way are left with no choice but to overlook the things in guys that they shouldn't be overlooking, they're settling and this is something that I refuse to do.

So this leaves the big question: What am I waiting for?

Well, I'm waiting for a guy who...

1. Wants to know my friends.

Blessed doesn't even begin to describe how lucky I am to have the friends that I do.

I want a guy who can hang out with my friends. If a guy makes an effort to impress your friends then that says a lot about him and how he feels about you. This not only shows that he cares about you but he cares about the people in your life as well.

Someone should be happy to see you happy and your friends contribute to that happiness, therefore, they should be nothing more than supportive and caring towards you and your friendships.

2. Actually, cares to get to know me.

Although this is a very broad statement, this is the most important one. A guy should want to know all about you. He should want to know your favorite movie, favorite ice cream flavor, favorite Netflix series, etc. Often, (the guys I get stuck on dates with) love to talk about themselves: they would rather tell you about what workout they did yesterday, what their job is, and what they like to do rather than get to know you.

This is something easy to spot on the first date, so although they may be "cute," you should probably drop them if you leave your date and can recite everything about their life since the day they were born, yet they didn't catch what your last name was.

3. How they talk about other women.

It does not matter who they're talking about, if they call their ex-girlfriend crazy we all know she probably isn't and if she is it's probably their fault.

If they talk bad about their mom, let's be honest, if they're disrespecting their mother they're not going to respect you either. If they mention a girl's physical appearances when describing them. For example, "yeah, I think our waitress is that blonde chick with the big boobs"

Well if that doesn't hint they're a complete f* boy then I don't know what else to tell you. And most importantly calling other women "bitches" that's just disrespectful.

Needless to say, if his conversations are similar to ones you'd hear in a frat house, ditch him.

4. Phone etiquette.

If he can't put his phone down long enough to take you to dinner then he doesn't deserve for you to be sitting across from him.

If a guy is serious about you he's going to give you his undivided attention and he's going to do whatever it takes to impress you and checking Snapchat on a date is not impressive. Also, notice if his phone is facedown, then there's most likely a reason for it.

He doesn't trust who or what could pop up on there and he clearly doesn't want you seeing. Although I'm not particularly interested in what's popping up on their phones, putting them face down says more about the guy than you think it does.

To reiterate, it's okay to be picky ladies, you're young, there's no rush.

Remember these tips next time you're on a date or seeing someone, and keep in mind: they're on their best behavior when you're dating. Then ask yourself, what will they be like when they're comfortable? Years down the road? Is this what I really want? If you ask yourself these questions you might be down the same road I have stumbled upon, being too picky.. and that's better than settling.

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It's 2019, And I Can Confirm One Size Does Not Fit All, At All

I'll take feeling good over meeting your standards. Thank you.

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We live in a society where being yourself and expressing who you truly are is something that is becoming more and more accepted and is actually trendy. Left and right, people are coming forward and declaring who they are and want to be in life and there is a crowd of people there to cheer them on.

There is also always that small percent sitting in the corner, ready to throw derogatory comments and taint the self-love, respect, and acceptance that's flowing.

Every single time this happens, the internet breaks and feuds form in the comment sections. How many times does this fight have to be had before people just mind their own business? How someone looks is frankly none of your concern. Whether you think the person is too fat, too skinny, too girly, too rough, too whatever, it's none of your business.

I'm a firm believer that one should focus on their own life instead of living to tear others down. You should be more concerned with feeling good in your own body than wasting your energy trying to make people ashamed of theirs. It's not your place to comment on someone's appearance.

We should work on building up confidence and feeling good in our skin. Exercising, working on your mental health, and surrounding yourself with good energy will improve your life exponentially. DO NOT do this to achieve an aesthetic or try to look like an Instagram model. Only do it to feel good about yourself internally. What you look like on the outside should only matter to you.

I would be lying if I said I didn't fall victim to countless beautiful women who post their swimsuit photos looking like they stepped out of Vogue magazine. I would be lying if I said I didn't struggle with my own body image and have to remind myself daily that it's okay to not fit their mold. I won't lie to you. We live in a world that feels the need to comment on every inch of our skin rather than focus on more important issues. Shut off the noise and ignore the words that are given in hate. You have better things to do than focus on their negativity.

Make your own mold.

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